Everardo “Ever” Villarreal has filed a motion to dismiss an election contest filed by Precinct 3 Hidalgo County Commissioner Joe Flores on March 23.
Villarreal’s motion will be heard in District Judge Keno Vasquez’s court Friday morning.
Flores lost the March Democratic Primary to Villarreal by 92 votes. In his petition, filed on March 23, he alleged “illegal votes” being cast.
His petition claims that Villarreal “built his political campaign around a promise of honesty and transparency. The discouraging reality, however, is that Villarreal’s campaign demonstrated the extreme opposite by, inter alia, the following actions: His campaign PAID many voters to vote for him.”
The petition goes on to allege that Villarreal’s supporters illegally assisted thousands of voters who were not disabled in order to influence votes in his favor, as well as there being members of the ballot board who were on Villarreal’s campaign payroll.
Villarreal’s motion, which was filed on June 1, claims that Flores’ allegations are focused on bribed voters, illegally assisted voters, and other ineligible voters.
“By(Flores’) own admission, he has no evidence that the Villarreal campaign bribed voters,” the motion read.
“(Flores) makes the assertion in his petition that ‘individuals will testify regarding how they were paid, how they were driven to voting sites, and how operators of Villarreal’s campaign assisted them and voted on their behalf for Villarreal.’” the motion further stated. “However, when quizzed about the names of these individuals who were bribed and illegally assisted, (Flores) stated, ‘I will not answer the question.’”
According to the Hidalgo County Elections Department, a total of 19,982 votes were cast in the race, with Villarreal earning 10,037 to the incumbent’s 9,945.
On March 23, Flores posted a message on Facebook stating, “As many of you know, I am a firm believer that honesty and transparency are essential in a democracy. After much research and investigation, it appears that many illegal votes were cast which in turn influenced the outcome of the election.”
Villarreal also claims that Flores is paying witnesses.
“There is no evidence that (Villarreal) has bribed voters. However, there is strong evidence that (Flores) and his investigator are paying exorbitant sums for the testimony of lay Witnesses,” the motion read.
Attempts to reach Flores, Villarreal, and their attorneys were unsuccessful as of press time.